India, Thailand agree to double trade by 2014
New Delhi, Apr 6 (ANI): India and Thailand have agreed to double trade volume by 2014, which currently stands at six billion dollars.
In a joint statement issued here late on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Thailand counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva, noting that ongoing negotiations on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between India and Thailand that would promote trade in goods and services, and investment were proceeding well, they directed the negotiators to finalize the text of the Agreement by the end of 2011.
They also desired that the Second Protocol to Amend the Framework Agreement for Establishing Free Trade Area between Thailand and India founded in 2003 be signed at the earliest possible date.
Recalling the long history of cultural and historical ties between the two countries, both leaders agreed that to lift relations to a higher level, the two countries shall increase and expand existing cultural exchanges and strengthen people-to-people contacts to raise visibility and profile of the other country.
The two countries will also continue to explore opportunities to promote cultural exchanges in fields such as conservation, traditional art, contemporary art, literature, film making, music, dance and theatre.
In this context, both nations mutually agreed that the Executive Programme of Cultural Exchange between the two countries should be renewed at the earliest opportunity for the year 2011-2013 in order to facilitate and promote deeper and varied cultural exchanges.
They also reiterated their commitment to realization of the Trilateral Highway connecting India to Thailand via Myanmar to enhance regional transport networks.
Noting that India and Thailand are discussing extradition treaty, mutual legal assistance treaty in civil and commercial matters and agreement on transfer of sentenced persons, the two sides agreed that the above mentioned agreements may be concluded at the earliest.
Vejjajiva welcomed the fact that almost 800,000 Indian tourists had visited Thailand in the year 2010 and observed that visitors from India were the fastest-growing segment in the tourist inflow into Thailand.
The two leaders, recognizing that there was great unrealized potential for increasing the inflow of Thai tourists into India, agreed to provide greater facilitation to Thai Buddhist monks, pilgrims, students and tourists visiting India. (ANI)
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